A thermodynamics professor had written a take-home exam for his graduate
students. It had one question:
Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof.
For Non-science majors, exothermic is when something releases heat and
endothermic is when something generates heat. Most of the students wrote
proofs of their beliefs using Boyle 19s Law or some variant. One student, however,
wrote the following:
"First, we postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do,
then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into
hell and at what rate are souls leaving" I think that we can safely assume that
once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for
souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world
Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you
will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do
not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls
go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of
souls in hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in
order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the
mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant.
#1 So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell,
then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.
#2 Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in
hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the postulate given me by Jennifer Smith during
Freshman year, and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in
having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true, and hell is exothermic."
The student got an A